“ We are all Wanderers on the earth. Our Hearts full of Wonder. And our Souls full of Dreams. ” ~ Gypsy proverb
To meet someone living the life you wanted is not only inspiring but life-altering as well. It’s like you were directed to a path where your heart beats faster.
It was so many moons ago when I first met Ms. Evelyn. It was year 2008 more or less. Her Souvenir/ home decors shop is situated in her home at Tacloban City.
It was such a pretty place, there’s a huge lush garden, and if I remember it right, the items she sells are somewhere in the back area and I was able to purchase a few as gifts. One item I also got from her shop is this.
Getting a peak of the interiors of her home, amazed me. It was a combination of modern furniture and antique ones, a plethora of collection by an artist like her. She is a Designer too. =) She probably detected my sense of wondering and she invited me to go inside.
She showed me this massive antique wooden cabinet, which we call “platera” as a child (I just hear it from my parents and grandparents), it’s where we keep our dinner wares and flat wares and all those things you need to prepare the dining table.
However, the doors aren’t made of glass. It’s made of wood as well and with delight she gladly open them for me to see what’s inside. And to my amazement, it was a collection of blue and white ginger jars in all sizes. Each one prominent in its’ own. I didn’t dare touch them, I was just contended gazing at their beauty.
According to her, she accumulated them from her travels. Some are gifts and definitely most of them are categorized as antiques.
It reminded me of my cousin’s collections too.
Her house upon first glance is literally boho eclectic.
I do not know why I didn’t take pictures from her place, I only have her business card. But the vision of it stayed in my mind up to this very moment.
It actually prompted me to let the energies flow inside of me and practically do what I love. And it is to proceed with my plan to create a boho chic home, or convert my parents’ house into a boho one, realizing that if I didn’t start right away, it’d really take me a while.
I have limited resources, since most boho homes achieve its’ look because the owner probably is a traveler or a collector and the decors are accumulation of souvenirs from all her travels through the years. When I no longer travel so often, though, lucky enough to have traveler friends who gifted me with souvenirs from different places. I think, it’ll take me years to complete it.
Though the process itself is gratifying. Just ticking off one from the list excites me each time, like a lifetime commitment, this is what I want to do, and to not ignore even a single chance, Be it made by me, purchased, a friend’s gift, something I recycled or upcycled. An advocacy to save Mother earth by limiting build-up of land fills. This is what I wanted. That just by looking around from where I live, It’ll make me happy. And I have no intention of really being something else. This is my focus. Because from this, I’d be able to re-open my mama’s shop.
Anyway, after the pandemic, my priority is to travel. Again. =)
Just recently, I’ve found a virtual friend who resembles Ms. Evelyn. Time and again, It is astonishing that I met different people with the same hobbies or interests, and they are all truly inspiring. Meeting them personally and discovering their pages from Instagram.
Honestly, when I first encounter her Instagram page, I didn’t expect that it’s in my country. It is so unique. If you go further, her home is the epitome of an artist’s canvas, the works of a bohemian by nature.
We were discussing things lately, and I told her that our taste might be eyesore to some, though for us, it is what makes us happy and keep up our spirits. And then she said, well, we are increasing. Which is apparently true, I have met so many friends in my IG account, the same circle loving the same niche. Before I was in love with Ibiza boho girl, The spotted zebra (which I recently featured in my blog: My 1 dozen most favorite pages at Instagram and true enough, it surprises me that I’ve been seeing those pages I follow are also following Happy nest in the tropics.
It gave me a certain bliss, that, Hey, I found my niche. ❤
As to why following them makes me happy. Their abodes are bursting with happy colors, stunning flares, like every corner is pleasing to the eye. Our pair of eyes. Be it brand new, vintage or antique, recycled, upcycled, name it.
Another thing that is truly inspiring with Happy nest in the tropics is that she appreciates and validates handmade crafts that are made locally. Which is a good thing as she is literally helping out these businesses. Empowering them to do more, create more, inspire and be inspired more.
This ignites the fire to bring forth the talents and passion of creating beautiful things and share it to the world.
That part is my favorite. =)
Check it out and witness the boho chic beauty of her own heaven on earth, the good and magical vibes it radiate, and be excited like I am (finally found my tribe) to be motivated by her day to day pursuit to stay happy and creative, gleefully shared to remain connected via Instagram. =)
“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.”
― Hazrat Inayat Khan
Hi guys! When I saw this console/ foyer table below, my mind wandered and randomly thought of some of my favorite things, it is so beautiful, and as a Designer, it buoyed me to take advantage of my blog site and share with you some tips how I came up with my own version of a dressed-up console table.
So here’s my formula for creating an eye-catching foyer or console table for your home. It is very simple yet dreamy.
During college days, the term “eclectic” refers to a collection of several items (in different themes) collated into just one design. Nowadays, it is referred to as Bohemian.
Since Bohos are innately travelers by nature. They mix and match varying elements that they’ve acquired from their travels and come up with a very unique and beautiful outcome.
And this is how I am going to do it in my own eclectic way. It is very relaxed and carefree.
I must not forget to mention that during my college days (early 1990s). Design principles at that time was a little stricter. You can’t mix something printed with another printed. Or not follow the color wheel in color scheming. While Color blocking since the past years have been widely used already, be it in Interior Designing and/ or Fashion industry.
People are no longer scared to explore and go beyond what is norm.
Now, or few years ago, designing has become more liberating. I can’t help but be soo glad that I can combine a specific print or pattern with another. Whereas, during my younger years, my attention will be called. Now mixing and matching is just so much fun.
You see, how we appreciate varieties nowadays. =) It’s so festive and perky. =)
Working on several Designs lately. I thought of translating them here. And I would have to start into creating a really pretty console table. That first thing guests would see, welcome them and where vibe will be extended to all areas of the house. Just like a good introduction when you’re reading a famous book.
Please note that the same principle can also be used on other areas of the house, as long as there is a blank wall. It’ll automatically serve as one of your focal points, catching everyone’s attention. =)
I’ll be limiting my list of requirements to just 10:
The console table itself
A painting, a clock or a mirror (I’d choose two – a mirror and a clock in one)
wall sconce or a table lamp (I’d choose wall sconce)
A flower vase
A scented candle in glass
Something useful to be lined with the vase and bust, I’m choosing a catch all tray
And 3 native boxes under the table
Please remember that above doesn’t need to be brand new, try to check some of your old stuff at home, and I’m sure you’ll find some items to fill them in.
I’ve created below so you can visualize the finished product.
So what are you waiting for? Be your own Designer now and create an awesome console table for your home. =) You may want to visit my blog from time to time for more Interior design tips! =)
Oh, another favorite of mine, is that Vintage look. So what differs vintage from antique? The latter must be at least a hundred years old to be considered as antique while items that are preserved for more than 20 years already falls under vintage.
It sounds as easy to collate our grand parents stuff to achieve this look, however, we don’t want our abode to look literally old and gray right? So the tricky part is finding the right balance in combining the past with the present in the most cunning way.
Pulling it off all together requires careful study since we can literally make use of existing items from our parents or grand parents’ house. There are Stores that sell these stuff making it easy to pull it off. You are also the one to decide what decade is closest to your heart, and/ or applicable.
Yes, they are so pretty, but there is no rule that if this is the style that you’ve chosen, everything had to be vintage. It is how the old and new come together in sweet harmony.
It’s a matter of combining pieces from your chosen era, a few perhaps but distinctive enough to create that vintage feel. If I have to choose, I like the early part of 1900s and are considered already an antique. And the 1940s-50s too.=)
For some years, I have been so fascinated with Shabby chic, not only because my first love is pink prior to me being addicted to the color violet, but also because I love pastels, laces, and all those girly, floral, soft and very feminine elements. Parts of me being influenced by my mama who used to be a dressmaker.
Shabby chic style has often been mistaken as Cottage style design, or Farmhouse and sometimes Vintage. It is actually not a mistake as the resemblance is very strong.
From the root word shabby, the pieces being used are distressed [and there is a way to make something new looked distressed too], worn-out and aged. Shabby chic is coming up with something pretty despite of its’ fragmented condition. You will have the impression it is literally casual, yet elegant.
Personally, each time I see a room styled in Shabby chic decors, I sensed a story. So it feels good looking at them. =)
It is so appealing because the set-up is so inviting, comfortable and very light to the feel. It utilizes very light colors like white [specifically dirty white or tea-stained white] and pastels, and when you opted to inject bold colors into it, it’ll automatically be switched to a “Boho Chic” Interior Design style which I will be glad to discuss later.
Shabby chic is usually intertwined with French country decor, specifically the remarkable houses found in Provence. Which is why if you notice, one strong identity of this Interior design are lavenders which can also be found in Provence. A basket of fresh lavenders sitting pretty on a distressed side table, or a bundle of lavenders in a vintage tin can, some dried lavenders inside an old newspaper shaped into a cone, and other similar scenes, lavenders are very visible and is always a sweet sight to behold, it tells a story how it brings its’ relaxing scent to a place, thus, we visualize how relaxed to be in that place.
A designer whose synonymous to this style of Interior Design, is Rachel Ashwell. She have been cascading this Shabby chic inspired interiors for 20 years already and still is very popular.
Some of its’ characteristics:
wooden furniture here and there in peeling off paint (distressed)
color motif of white and/or pastel (usually light pink hues)
scented candles nestled in tin cans or dainty glasses
worn-out looking soft slip-covers
floral printed fabrics
for a variety of textures: they make use of lace, embroidered fabrics, soft rugs
they are fond of wreaths
piles of vintage books
flowers (artificial or fresh) on ceramic or tin can vases
crocheted table runners or throws
sun hats and veils on corners
lots of wooden racks, shelvings, and hangers
a restored and repurposed louver window
an old ladder as display rack of flowers and some knick knacks
use of ornate frames
The nice thing about this is you need not hurt your pocket to achieve this and it surely is so much fun putting all these together since most of these can be “DIY”. So on your next Design project, you can even share the fun doing it with friends and family.
Rustic Interior Design style is getting more famous lately, well, in my observation. I discovered and fell in love with this theme 5 years ago and I still see it anywhere I go. In residences, in offices, in retail shops, in restaurants, even some weddings are inspired by this theme, I see it almost everywhere.
You’ll be surprised that Rustic look doesn’t follow a rule, not even uniformity. It is carefree and eccentric. In fact, it is so carefree it can be mixed and matched with several Interior Design themes like Shabby chic, Nautical, Boho chic, and others.
When it comes to textures or materials, wood is a prominent element, however, metal can be utilized, leather or suede, wrought irons, also rocks, stones, and nature-inspired pieces like indoor plants.
The chief colors used are mostly nature-based hues. When you’re the type who loves neutral colors, this is the theme for you as most elements work well with earthy colors.
A typical rustic interior is surely with beams made sometimes with an untreated or salvaged woods. A rustic themed room can make you wonder and might ask often “Oh, is it really possible?”
As with accessorizing, most pieces that are hand-made emulates this theme. Like you found something from the woods, and an idea popped-up in your mind and before you know it, you already have a planter made of twigs in your living room, branches of woods can be recreated as a door handle/ pull too. Patterns used are usually huge, checkered and plain. Patchworks and quilts are anticipated too.
For actual cabins situated in the mountains, you’ll see inspirations from animals like a taxidermied head of a deer, a faux bear skin rugs [I suggested faux because I do not support products made from executing animals. Unless, it was taken from an already dead animal which cause of death is natural and is allowed by several existing federal or state laws]. While if in the urban areas, and you’d want a rustic feel for your homes, this can be forged too and will instantly remind you of the great outdoors.
To achieve this vibe, you need to consider the following:
a fireplace if applicable (trompe l’oeil will do if not applicable)
massive pieces of furniture
You will not typically find a feminine piece in a Rustic theme, as it might look off or out of place. As one of this theme’s distinct feel is its’ masculinity.
Here is my most favorite style and what I wanted my home to be. I just realized that it is not a “Lalala lala lala” thing, it isn’t that easy. It is the exact opposite of minimalist. There is a lot happening in every corner. A melange of anything beautiful collected through the years.
Originally, Boho chic have been inspired by the Gypsies and their lifestyle. We all know that they travel a lot. This type of designing is the result of an assembly of varying stuff they’ve got from most of their travels. This design is literally full of life.
And why oh why I have this strong penchant for gypsies.
This style has come to be so unique due to the varying origins and culture from the places they have visited. They have an eye for literal beauty, love for splashes of bright colors, varying textures, their artistry to blend one item with another and come up with a place so divine and awe-inspiring. The perfect canvas to paint this style are neutral tones, followed by all those bright hues that you love.
And only a few fell in love with this type of designing, some hurts their eyes, some says it is so chaotic and a mess. However, for some which includes me, I will call it “A very beautiful mess” with so much pride.
There is no rule, as it is the rule. It is how you fused something you found from India with that lantern you found from Vietnam. How you match that pretty rug from Turkey with that salvaged accent table from Waco, in Texas. Where you place a box of teas from Japan to that dainty lace from Belgium.
Actually, it isn’t necessary that one piece match another. Nothing is in order. It is the over-all look that you created and to have that special eye, is all that it takes. Like if it created a clash, it is why it was beautiful. Which is why there is flair. Which is
why as your gaze turns to another, there is a story.
Working on this kind of Interior style is effortless. If there is “Less is more”, for a Boho chic theme, it is “More is better.” It must be heavily adorned, massive in visuals. It’s like if there’s a space, you should be filling them up in no time. And it spells happy.
You wouldn’t believe, you are allowed to put two different rugs side by side.
You’ll see lots of pieces hanging: tassels, beaded curtains, crocheted caravan shawl thrown on a 3 seater, trinkets and laces, indoor hanging plants, name it. And they mesmerize my soul.
Those who’d prefer this style won’t be a fan of uniformity or symmetry, you can even use different chairs for your dining table should you wish so and in different finish and colors. A blank space is no no.
You will be stunned with the result, as it is a reflection of your own persona. Different patterns are of course in prominence. It is as fearless as doing a print on print. As Boho chic is all about liberty. You are free to do anything, if there is a hashtag to it, it is #freespirited
And just like other themes, a focal point is still possible with a Boho chic abode, don’t fret even if there’s a lot to see, A vintage chandelier will still work. A heavily-embellished mirror, or an Accent wall can create a rich statement.
Boho chic considered eclectic, while on top of it, there is more. This diversed style definitely speaks for itself, upon glance, you’ll conclude that the dweller or owner is an artist or a boho, a hippie perhaps. There is an articulated individuality.
Designing or decorating a place is really so much fun. I see myself like a scientist who keeps on experimenting until I get to see what satisfies all of my senses. At the end of the day, designing is like a happy pill for me. =)
Creativity is a drug I cannot live without. ~ Cecil Demille
Jumping back to the years I spent in college to finish Fine Arts focusing on Interior Design. I recall having so much fun studying this discipline.
Over the years, most of the jobs I’ve had, is related into it one way or another, and when I’m free, I practiced it. Even at my own home.
It wasn’t easy coming up with this, it took me days to complete my research. I didn’t mind because researching is synonymous to learning and I strongly believe that learning is an everyday thing. One of the articles that helped me a lot to finish this blog is by Maryam Taheri, she is a blogger too. Her blog about the 10 basic elements of design is so rich in information and knowledge which I need to in my content.
When I was in college, there are only 7 elements in Design: line, color, shape, texture, size (or scale), value and space [ Well, as far as I can recall! ahaha!]. Now, there’s 10: Add typography, dominance and/or emphasis, balance and harmony. However, another important thing I kept in my heart are the principles of Design which some are included in Maryam Taheri’s list.
Because Designing is a matter of incorporating things like in cooking, there are ingredients needed to make a perfect dish. And if one or two is missing, the desired result will not materialized. Or over the years, Designing has evolved too. Evolution or Innovation is truly inevitable. I’m in my 40s now, and when I was in my 20s, in principles of Marketing, it is only 4s: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Now it’s already 8s: Add People, Processes, Physical Evidence and Productivity. So I think, that’s just it, we really need to be resilient to change. =)
Just recently, I took charge of converting this shop somewhere in our town into a Rustic themed shop since it is the owner’s favorite theme and most of the products she’s selling are relevant to it. She sells wooden and carved items from Paete, Laguna.
Paete is known to be the seat of the best wood carvings you’d find in the Philippines. It’s quality just gets better and better through the years. They are open to improvements, are innovative and of course very patient and their attention to details? Is truly unquestionable. There’s a prestige if you have a piece of their artwork in your homes or offices.
My client fell in love with Rustic themed decors at a very young age, and she is just a girl fulfilling her dream. She owns now a Rustic themed shop. I, personally, loved that Rustic charm too. It is ubiquitous enough to be matched with other Interior Design themes like with my first love: the Boho Chic theme.
I am now in this process of converting my living room (and hopefully the rest of the house soon) into a Boho chic abode. And this study made me learn so much. Below is my mood board, which made me come up with the top 10 styles as my favorites! =)
So here’s my top 10 favorite styles in Interior Designing. Find out what are they! =)
This style is actually simple if you carefully focused on it. However, the massive use of colorful pieces, as they are fearless in using bold colors even gilded ones.
I love colors so much, in my dresses, in my room, some pieces at home and other stuff. And when it comes to colorful interiors, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Moroccan style. Which is why they are famous for some colors like the Majorelle blue. And Chefchaoen being known as the Blue city.Mastering this style would really require a lot of research and study or better yet, visit one of the most beautiful country there is, to immerse yourself with their culture and colorful way of life.
They utilize lustrous materials too, using precious stones, beads, tassels as embellishments. Lots of pillows, massive curtains, the absence of rugs (kilim is a staple) is something I haven’t witnessed yet. Its’ milieu’s almost like a fairy tale. It is pleasing to the eyes and dreamy.
Theirs is so diversed as rich as their culture being nestled between the Mediterranean and Atlantic. One of the most prevalent element you’d see in Moroccan style is the Archs on windows, hallways and doors. While the drama of their lighting comes from intricately designed lanterns. Their imagination is unlimited, exotic, extravagant and elegant. Take a look at how massive they utilize mosaic tiles. It creates a dramatic repercussion when put together all at once.
Sometimes, it is also known as Asian Style. We know for a fact that Asia is the biggest continent in the world. So when it comes to designing, It depicts the combined cultures of countries from the East: China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea and other Eastern countries in Asia.
And to consider that there’s more influences from the South Eastern Asian countries. This design is rooted from numerous regions, colossal and is considered as eclectic too. And so it is grand with different cultures and history.
Asian style can also be categorized since some focuses only on one country. An example is the Zen style of Japan which follows the principle that “Less is more”.
Apparent characteristics of Oriental Interior Design are the attention to details. Cabinets are painted, dividers [usually in fretwork pattern] and rugs are designed intricately. Due to limited space, most furniture are multi-purposed.
It is also packed with the elements of nature: Indoor plants, fountains, wooden furniture from rattan or bamboo, materials that are readily sourced in these countries, patterns are usually evident with animal motifs like birds, dragons, butterflies and flowers.
With respect to history and culture, animal motifs are very evident too. Figures of Buddha are also featured in most times. You’ll see characters in murals.When it comes to color, red is prominent. For the nature inspired, yellows and greens are distinct. Looking at it, it’ll speak for itself that the place was inspired by nature.
I must not forget that most Asian style Interior Design is guided by a Chinese geomancy: Feng shui. It focuses on achieving balance of energies to your abode as it will affect its’ flow in our daily lives, the term “chi” is used in the belief that it is existing in all objects. And so through proper arrangement and placements of all things at home [or office], positive outcomes can be achieved like wealth and health.
Nordic style is inspired by the Nordic countries: Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Faroe islands in which all countries shared the same history and culture. Said design is also known as “Scandinavian”. They are famous for their pared backed style that depicts simplicity and functionality.
Contrasting elements are continually being used in Nordic design. For example, If the chosen color motif of the room is black, there’ll be touches of white. And vice versa. They are not so much a fan of bold and bright colors, they’d rather use soft and subdued tones, whites, grays, neutrals, monochromatic and should they decide to use bright tones, it’s just a slight burst somewhere.
Another prominent element used is texture.
I noticed that they’re fond of using different textures.
You’ll see leather chairs, sheepskin throws, accent pillows in unique fabrics, and rugs.
Combining all these, due to their climate, the intent is to maintain all the hygge. [Hygge: pronounced as hue-guh – a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being – regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture]. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/hygge
My favorite element in the Nordic design is their showcase
of photos on the walls which always creates drama and depth.
Another style I find very interesting is the Nautical, it is the coolest style of design for me. It reminds me of the sea. Like I used to imagine that I’m a mermaid in another life. =) When you check on them, there are very noticeable and recurring elements and it is so easy to be identified as Nautical.
From the root word itself, nautical depicts the life or living with the sea or the coastal life. Symbols of the ship is evident everywhere, like a cardinal rule, the combined shades of blues, whites and wood are a staple. These shades represents the ocean plus the natural colors you’ll see surrounding the shore.
The over all amalgam results into a very unique flair, coastal chic and a relaxed feel. It allows you to hear the sound of the waves by just looking at it.
I have included “Do it yourself” in the keywords since most of the decors you’ll find in the actual setting of these houses in the coastline, are actually designed or done by the dwellers themselves. An example is a hanging lamp tied by a rope, a twig taken from the shore used a a decor by just placing it in a nice vase, or an old wooden anchor mounted on the wall.
And all these can be done even if you’re not living in the coastlines. =) I’ve seen a lot of interiors nowadays using this kind of style, and I really find it beautiful. To achieve that nautical look, you can try the following:
a blue and white striped carpet or rug
a miniature boat as your center piece
use of ropes [for planters, to hang photos on the wall, as a vase
an anchor on your living room wall or bedroom
you can also hang some blinds that are made of ropes
a lighthouse perhaps [my favorite! =)]
symbols of a starfish will be perfect
a framed world map perhaps [for navigation]
wall-mounting an over-sized compass
a telescope is a nautical element too
salvaged woods which can be found from the shore are ideal for a bench, an accent table or a center table
You see, creating a nautical look is so fun, nice and easy. =)
Sometimes, even if I am fan of eclectic schemes, burst of vivid bright colors, I also am inspired by simplicity. I initially get bored with it, but achieving this look and maintaining it is really something great right?
It was said that this style is more of a principle than a visual style. It is influential and have been liked and used by many.
It actually began in the 20th century and is still popular until today. It is considered as contemporary too. A style that only uses what is necessary. Some motto’s like “Less is More” is from this famous minimalist designer/ architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Here is a sample of his furniture that are still being used today. The Barcelona chair is one of my favorite, I have included this if relevant in my designs in the past.
One thing that I like about this style is the open space to move around, there is more room for floor area as clutter is a no no in this kind of style. I also like the way a “focal point” is injected. If an all white room bores me at times, one bright thing that catches my attention is all it takes for me to get rid of the boredom like a surprise coming unexpected. It gives me the jolt.
Since the budget isn’t distributed in too much decors or accessories, one can invest in a very expensive piece for a particular room like the living room or bedroom as your focal point that draws attention. Achieving a look that is simple yet impressive.
Because this doesn’t use a variety of the colors I love, they utilize textures instead. It can be an indoor plant, a mural or an artwork, or a bewitching lamp. The nice thing about minimalist design for me is accentuating. It is really nice to look for pieces that will complement all the elements in a certain space, it gets the attention.
Personally, minimalist design for me is masculine. And masculine can be pretty amazing too. =)
Another Interior design style that I consider masculine is Industrial. It injects clues of pieces from old factories, warehouse stuff, walls are made of bricks and lots of raw materials.
When most styles hide what’s unfinished, this style bares it all. Achieving the look of being raw is the motivation of this design.
When it comes to texture, it combines metal and wood finishes. And the backlash is transcendent.
Some thought that Industrial design is all about that unfinished look, however, this style of design is befitting other styles like Rustic and Retro. So mixing and matching can still be so much fun. Note that antique and vintage furniture is a great element to blend to this style too.
When it comes to colors, 50 shades of gray is a favorite. Even grays coming from metals that are steely and shiny. Black, white and browns, coming from different shades of bricks and pieces made of natural wood creates a masculine feel and sexy too.
Before I forget, exposed pipes and ducts is consistent.